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N.J. Union Files Unfair Labor Charge Against Meridian Health

10.27.15

Jim Walters was quoted in Modern Healthcare on October 27, 2015. The article “N.J. Union Files Unfair Labor Charge Against Meridian Health” examined a case in which a New Jersey union  filed an unfair labor practice charge against Meridian Health, claiming its nurses were warned against posting about labor negotiations on social media.

Jim was quoted on his take of the case.

As social media has become increasingly popular, the NLRB has likened posting on the Internet to “standing at the water cooler and talking,” said Jim. Such activity, as long as it happening off-the-clock, is a protected concerted activity, he said.

“Anything that is protected concerted is basically hallowed ground,” Jim said, noting that to avoid labor issues, many health systems have cut back their social media policies to where they are vague and inconsequential.

It's possible a post could have included information that violated privacy laws, but it's also possible that this could be the case of a middle manager who misunderstood hospital rules, Jim added.

As for the complaint regarding surveillance of union members who were distributing leaflets, Jim confirmed that spying on members engaged in union activities is not allowed by federal labor law.

To read the full article, please visit Modern Healthcare.

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